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There's an excellent read in the upcoming issue of SportsBusiness Journal - an article focused on Major League Soccer season-ticket sales. Year-to-date, there are 60,783 season-ticket holders league-wide, 16% more than last year at the same time. That number includes partial-season plans and mini-packages and excludes the going-on-4,000 strong in the Bay Area.
Kansas City made the biggest percentage gain, with sales jumping 232%. Perhaps most surprisingly, the David Beckham-led Los Angeles Galaxy suffered the largest drop in season-ticket holders (-15%).
1. Toronto FC - 16,641 (+34%)
2. Los Angeles Galaxy - 7,915 (-15%)
3. D.C. United - 5,976 (+27%)
4. Real Salt Lake - 4,632 (+5%)
5. Houston Dynamo - 4,116 (+87%)
6. New England Revolution - 4,001 (+14%)
7. San Jose Earthquakes - 3,822
8. Columbus Crew - 3,227 (+1%)
9. New York Red Bulls - 3,170 (+33)
10. FC Dallas - 3,002 (-4%)
11. Colorado Rapids - 2,968 (+59%)
12. Chicago Fire - 2,759 (+8%)
13. Kansas City Wizards - 1,539 (+232%)
14. Chivas USA - 837 (-2%)
Overall, the league is healthy when it comes to season-ticket sales. Ten of 13 clubs posted gains year-over-year - only the two Los Angeles clubs and FC Dallas did not add to the momentum from last year. Toronto continues to show the rest of the league how it should be done, adding another 4,200 STHs, despite increasing the average ticket price by $10.
Interest is already running high in the two cities that have been tapped for expansion - Seattle and Philadelphia. Whether either city's numbers can touch Toronto's success at the turnstiles remains to be seen, but early reports out of the Pacific Northwest are a good sign - over 11,000 deposits have been taken for the kickoff of MLS in Seattle, which commences in 2009.
Posted by TJ at 8:04 PM